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What are the Different Welding Types and What are They Used for?

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What are the Different Welding Types and What are They Used for?

There are a variety of different processes with their own techniques and applications for industry, these include:

Arc

This category includes a number of common manual, semi-automatic and automatic processes. These include metal inert gas (MIG) welding, stick welding, tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding also know as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), gas welding, metal active gas (MAG) welding, flux cored arc welding (FCAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), submerged arc welding (SAW), shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and plasma arc welding.

These techniques usually use a filler material and are primarily used for joining metals including stainless steel, aluminium, nickel and copper alloys, cobalt and titanium. Arc welding processes are widely used across industries such as oil and gas, power, aerospace, automotive, and more. 

Friction

Friction welding techniques join materials using mechanical friction. This can be performed in a variety of ways on different welding materials including steel, aluminium or even wood.

The mechanical friction generates heat which softens the materials which mix to create a bond as they cool. The manner in which the joining occurs is dependant on the exact process used, for example, friction stir welding (FSW), friction stir spot welding (FSSW), linear friction welding (LFW) and rotary friction welding (RFW).

Friction welding doesn't require the use of filler metals, flux or shielding gas.

Friction is frequently used in aerospace applications as it is ideal for joining otherwise 'non-weldable' light-weight aluminium alloys.

Friction processes are used across industry and are also being explored as a method to bond wood without the use of adhesives or nails.

Electron Beam

This fusion joining process uses a beam of high velocity electrons to join materials. The kinetic energy of the electrons transforms into heat upon impact with the workpieces causing the materials to melt together.

Electron beam welding (EBW) is performed in a vacuum (with the use of a vacuum chamber) to prevent the beam from dissipating.

There are many common applications for EBW, as can be used to join thick sections. This means it can be applied across a number of industries from aerospace to nuclear power and automotive to rail.

Laser

Used to join thermoplastics or pieces of metal, this process uses a laser to provide a concentrated heat ideal for barrow, deep welds and high joining rates. Being easily automated, the high welding speed at which this process can be performed makes it perfect for high volume applications, such as within the automotive industry.

Laser beam welding can be performed in air rather than in a vacuum such as with electron beam joining.


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